Education Policy Analyst


Jobs at Access Living

Position: Education Policy Analyst

Basic Function:

Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, a Center for Independent Living, seeks a full-time Education Policy Analyst. This position is responsible for the development and implementation of Access Living’s education policy activities to further educational opportunities for students with disabilities, with an emphasis on inclusive settings. Promotes inclusion for students with disabilities through legislation, policy reform, and community education, including the press. Responsible for fiscal analysis of government budgets affecting disabled students in the Chicago Public Schools and the State of Illinois. The position will include an extended period of mentoring with the current Education Policy Analyst at Access Living.

Specific Duties:

  • Monitor and analyze K-12 education policy, legislation, and related court cases impacting students with disabilities at local, state, and federal levels;
  • Develop and carry out advocacy strategies that help students with disabilities grow and thrive in inclusive settings, in coordination with Access Living leadership;
  • Conduct legislative advocacy by drafting legislation, developing policy positions, and collaborating with legislators, students with disabilities and their families, and community members and groups;
  • Provide expertise on education systems advocacy to various stakeholders, including students with disabilities and their families, educators, and advocates;
  • Provide education policy reports, recommendations and CPS/state budget analyses relating to students with disabilities;
  • Draft various policy and advocacy tools in multiple formats for a range of audiences, including policy memos, testimonials, fact sheets, talking points, public education materials, position statements, and general advocacy letters; 
  • Conduct public education efforts around the inclusion of students with disabilities, including through the use of media;
  • Serve as a resource to support Access Living’s community organizing campaigns that may relate to students with disabilities;
  • Engage in significant networking, collaboration and coalition building with schools, education related government agencies, legislative bodies, policy institutes and community based groups and individuals;
  • In coordination with the Manager of the Youth Institute, serve as a resource to address systemic or district issues affecting Access Living youth consumers;
  • Provide resource referral and follow-up calls;
  • Prepare quarterly reports and attend staff meetings;
  • Maintain database/project files with confidentiality as appropriate;
  • Assist in preparing grant proposals;
  • Other duties as assigned.

A Qualified Candidate:

  • Experience with disability-related education policy, policy development and implementation;
  • Ability to think critically and strategically about results-oriented problem solving methods; 
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects with competing deadlines;
  • Ability to write well on a tight timeline;
  • Ability to work concisely and effectively with internal staff and outside advocacy partners;
  • Proficiency with internet and various Microsoft Office and Google applications, including a working knowledge of Excel and the ability to utilize large data sets to extract information;
  • Ability to travel within and out of state.

A Preferred Candidate:

  • A Master’s degree (strongly preferred) in public policy, special education, or political science; alternatively, a J.D.;
  • An understanding of disability rights, independent living philosophy, and experience with special education research, policy, legislation and regulations;
  • Experience with social media campaigns;
  • Ability to speak Spanish or any other languages.

People with disabilities, members of other minority communities, and those with personal experience with disability are highly encouraged to apply. This position may need to work evenings and weekends on occasion.


$51,000 – $57,000

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to